Fiscal Court to apply for utility relief funds

Daviess County will apply for utility relief funds under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) CARES Program.

The Green River Area Development District (GRADD) will administer the application on behalf of the Fiscal Court.  The funding would assist people who are in arrears on utility bills because of COVID related issues.

“The way this would work,” explained MPO Coordinator Tom Lovett, “Daviess County Fiscal Court is applying and they will choose a partner agency, someone along the lines of Audubon Area Community Services, who will administer the money.”

“People who are in arrears and are in jeopardy of having their services cut-off, they will apply to them and Audubon Area would oversee the money, and that money would be paid directly to the utility on behalf of the customer,” Lovett added.

The public hearing was a requirement for the grant application to the Department of Local Government.  At this time, it is unknown when Daviess County may receive the funding, if the application is approved.

Lovett said the maximum amount of the grant award would be $200,000.

“We can’t do anything until the 4th or 5th of March, we can’t actually file the application until then,” he told the Court.  “And then it could be 30 to 45 days after that before we get an approval, assuming the application is good when it goes up there.  I just don’t have a timeline, any more specific than that.”

Though the funds may not arrive until late spring, Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said assistance could go toward natural gas, electric, water, and/or sewer service.

Jail Update

Jailer Art Maglinger provided an update on the Daviess County Detention Center.

Currently, the facility is housing 603 inmates: 245 from Daviess County, around 200 state inmates, and 94 federal inmates.  The detention center has been impacted by COVID-19 but the numbers are trending in the right direction.

“Just about three weeks ago at the height of it, we had 52 active cases and we are down to nine active cases and four pending tests,” Maglinger told the Court.  “Thankfully, it is going downward in the right direction, consistent with the county.”

“Still, we continue to take measures…we knew it was a matter of time,” he added.  “We were one of the last agencies hit with this.  We made it to November without having an outbreak.  My hats off to the medical staff for doing a great job.”

Insurance Premium License Fee

The Fiscal Court had the second reading of an ordinance to lower the insurance premium license fee from 8.9 percent to 7.2 percent in the next fiscal year.

“This ordinance amends a prior ordinance and only deals with the 4 percent piece that we charge to finance the Convention Center,” said Treasurer Jim Hendrix.

“We do anticipate having collected enough to service the debt by the end of Fiscal Year 2022,” he added.  “If we don’t lower the rate, we will over-collect.”

To change the rate, the County must provide 100 days-notice to the state Department of Insurance.

Hendrix anticipates modifying the rate again in July 1, 2022, when the bond is paid off for the county’s portion of the Convention Center.  At that time, the insurance premium license fee would fall to 4.9 percent.

“Commissioners, I wanted to let you know, I had an email from (former) Judge Reid Haire, thanking us for carrying out the wishes of his Court,” said Judge-Executive Al Mattingly.

“When this was originally passed, they put a sunset clause on it, which means we are going to move in that direction.  But I’m very pleased and proud that we’ve been able to do this during our Court.”

Other News

The Fiscal Court awarded a bid for the construction of an inclusive, accessible playground at Horse Fork Creek Park.  The contractor will be Miracle of KY & TN.  In March, the Court will consider a design build for a restroom facility at Horse Fork Creek Park.

Commissioners approved a three-year extension of a service agreement with International Paper Company related to sludge disposal at the West Daviess County Landfill.

A street lighting district will be added in section two of the Bridgewood subdivision.

The Court awarded bids for finished traffic signs, ball diamond crushed shale, mowing services at the landfill, a GPS control system for a dozer at the landfill, and a used motor grader.

Judge-Executive Al Mattingly proclaimed February 2021 as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and Black History Month.

Personnel

Ben Howerton has been promoted to Heavy Equipment Operator.

Marissa Skarupa will join the Department of Animal Control as Administrative Assistant.

The Court approved the following seasonal park employees:

  • Panther Creek Park – Terry Robertson, John Rone, Steve Nazarak, David Jones, and John Sampley
  • Yellow Creek Park – Roy Miller, Robert Stuart, Will Sheldon, Rickey Roberts, and Darrell Roberts

Teresa Boarman has been appointed to the Daviess County Property Maintenance Board for a term of Feb. 25, 2021 – Feb. 25, 2024.

Paul West has been appointed to the OMPC Building Codes Appeals Board for a term of May 6, 2021 – May 6, 2025.

Cheryl Cureton-Spalding has been appointed to the Ethics Board for a term of March 1, 2021 – March 1, 2024.